By Mthethwa Thandeka
Hip hop artist Selwyn Avontuur (21) popularly known as Krea Menace born in Standerton but grew up in Middelburg, Mpumalanga spent most of his teenage years bouncing from boarding school to boarding school in the Limpopo province where his “troubled youth” behaviour became intense but music helped to keep him grounded thus making him sane in the process.
Krea recorded his first song at the age of sixteen with Bksoul and then in 2016, he released his first Extended Play (E.P) titled Fresh Outta High School on datafile host and on his soundcloud page.
Why did you choose Hip hop, what or who was the influence?
Eminem and Tupac because I relate to them more. They got me loving hip hop. The first songs I could rap from the tip of my tongue. When I was a kid, I knew every single word of the following Tupac songs: Dear mama, lil homie and hit em up. 8mile from Eminem was my favourite movie and after watching the movie, I just fell for him and his music. After that, I got hold off their albums and I just fell for their music. J Cole on the other hand, he influenced my writing and his song Logic made me take my writing seriously.
What do you think makes you unique from all the other artists out there?
Honestly, I do not know. I just know that I have a story to tell about a young Coloured boy with big dreams who would stop at nothing to get what he was told he could not get. I make music from the heart, things I have experienced and have seen growing. I speak to young ones like myself who have been through what I have been through.
If you were to change one thing about the local hip hop industry, what would you change and why?
Nothing. Everybody is creative in their own way. Every artist is great in their own space and I respect that. I am a lion in the jungle so I think that people should support local artists and not just support them when they see them on TV.
What other talents do you have that people do not know about you?
I believe I can act so I see myself as an actor. I do not know if this counts as talent but I am a sales person, I can sell anything. I also think I can write a short film if I sometimes become motivated enough.
What would your theme be if you eventually decided to write one?
Thug life. I will probably write a short film about my upcoming mix tape entitled ThugLife Royalty. The story with my music.
Why did you choose the name “ThugLife Royalty” for your mix tape, is there some kind of significance?
It means The Hero Under God Living in Fear Everyday Becomes Royalty. I always saw myself as a thug and that was mostly influenced by Tupac and then the places I grew up in made more sense to me. I grew up around hustlers and that means people who were always in trouble.
Where was the first place you used as a studio?
The first studio I used was when I was doing a song with Bksoul. He heard me rap and then we made a song together titled My Road which was in a bedroom studio. Bksoul produced the song. I then later joined a group called Soul family Music in 2014 but then I left in 2016.
Why did you leave Soul Family Music?
I felt like I needed to prove to myself what I can do constantly. We had a great time in high school but now things have changed; we all have different visions and ideas. I still love them all. I have nothing but massive respect for Bksoul. He showed me a lot about music back in the day and that contributed a lot to the rapper I am today.
Are you part of a recording label and do you have a manager?
I run myself; I do not have a manager. I started a movement called Royalty Music. I am not part of a label. I have been part of the StouteZit Crew, my childhood gang.
What producer have you worked with?
I am working with dj Keptivator, a guy I met in 2016 when we both were studying sound engineering. We hanged out for a while and then we became friends. He was doing strickly afro house music at the time and then I was able to convince him to do hip hop as well because he is a naturally gifted producer that can do just about anything. We worked on a few songs that we decoded that he was going to help me on my next project. he produced most of the songs on my MixTape.
Are you a plain rapper or a poetic justice rapper?
I am a musician; I can make conscious music, radio songs and comedy songs. I do music whenever I feel that I have something to say. I am a diverse artist that basically loves word play and story-telling no matter the type of song I do.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on my MixTape, ThugLife Royalty which is due to drop early 2018. And im busy helping out k43A with his E.P and I got to the studio when I get time because I am also a full time Business Management student at the University of Johannesburg.
What advice do you have for your peers who want to be like you one day?
Find something you love and never give up on it. Do you, be you. The world will always have opinions but do not mind them because they do not come with solutions. And lastly, put your trust in God and enjoy the hustle.
How do people get in touch with you?
I am Krea Menace on my facebook page, Instagram I am, @KreaMenace.